November 11: Sarkozy on Netanyahu

These words raise the troubling possibility that Sarkozy’s personal animus has influenced French policy.

November 10, 2011 23:58
3 minute read.


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Sarkozy on Netanyahu
Sir, – While national leaders do not always get along, the statements by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US President Barack Obama are unusually strong (“Sarkozy tells Obama Netanyahu a ‘liar,’” October 9). And they are deeply disturbing.

Furthermore, these words raise the troubling possibility that Sarkozy’s personal animus has influenced French policy.

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Back in September at the United Nations, Prime Minister Netanyahu made a powerful defense of his nation and of direct negotiations with the Palestinians. More recently, France voted to admit “Palestine” as a full member of UNESCO.

As an American, I have no say in French policies, but I and my fellow citizens most certainly can and should condemn this policy as wrong and radical.

Silver Spring, Maryland

Sir, – So now it is out in the open: Nicolas Sarkozy hates Binyamin Netanyahu and thinks he is a liar. Barack Obama (tacitly) agrees with him.

So let us tell these two gentlemen the truth.

In international law, all of biblical Israel was ceded back to the Jewish people as their national home in 1920 at the San Remo Conference. This agreement was ratified by the League of Nations in 1922. Further, Article 80 of the United Nations’ founding documents states that it has no powers to alter anything that was ratified by the League of Nations.

Netanyahu should tell these two leaders that in law, Jordan is therefore on Jewish land and thus we have the two-state solution they want. If they pretend this not to be the case, it is they who are the liars.

Come on Bibi: They hate you anyway, so tell them the actual truth.


Sir, – If President Sarkozy of France calls Prime Minister Netanyahu a liar and President Obama says he is fed up with him, then I know I am right in supporting Netanyahu.

If these two gentlemen have such opinions of our prime minister, he must be doing the right thing.

After all, his job is not to please them, but to pursue the interests of the Jewish state, which is not something these gentlemen have as their priorities.


Sir, – Why such a fuss about Sarkozy telling Obama that Netanyahu is a liar? Some people might have the same opinion about Sarkozy and, indeed, about Obama. They’re politicians after all, and politicians are known to twist the truth to suit their own purposes.

I have known quite a number of politicians, and most would shout horribly at one another and then leave the parliamentary chamber with their arms amicably around each other. I always derived comfort from the rabbinic idea of the difference between a sin and the person who commits it.

When a politician takes a liberty with the truth – and I am not saying that Netanyahu does or doesn’t – it is not necessarily because he’s a liar but because he’s telling a lie.


The writer is rabbi emeritus of the Great Synagogue of Sydney Sir, – Sarkozy and Obama may have enjoyed their Bibi-bashing at the G-20 summit, but Netanyahu may have the last laugh when, about a year from now, there is a good chance he will be the only one still in office.


Geography lesson
Sir, – In “Build it and they will come” (West Bank, November 4), Tovah Lazaroff writes that Bashar al-Masri’s family “returned to Palestine in 1961.”

They could not have returned to “Palestine” because no such entity existed. A geographic designation for the Land of Israel, Palestine, was used to refer to the area controlled by the British Mandate, which came to an end in May, 1948.


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